New owner of Karori Mall could spark new supermarket war after lease is up
The new owner of Karori Mall is remaining tight-lipped on whether it will kick out the rival supermarket.
On Wednesday, Foodstuffs, which owns New World and Pak 'n Save, confirmed it bought the mall in September for $22 million - seven times more than the former owners paid for it.
New World and Countdown are the two anchor tenants at the mall.
In a statement, Foodstuffs North Island property development general manager Lindsay Rowles refused to say whether the company would allow Countdown to stay once its lease was up.
"Countdown have a lease for more than ten years and will remain trading from the location."
The company could not comment on whether Countdown would be allowed to extend its lease because it had not planned that far ahead.
"That decision will be made based on circumstances at the time."
No further comment was provided about the competition aspect between the two supermarkets.
Rowles said the new owners had no immediate plans for the mall.
Foodstuffs decided to buy the mall because it matched its business strategy, Rowles said.
"Ownership of the stores our members trade from is a cornerstone of the co-operative's property strategy.
"When the owner of the mall recently decided to put it on the market it fitted well with our overall ownership strategy."
The mall had been owned by Wellington businessman Mike O'Sullivan and his wife Gay since 1988.
The property was put on the market in September for the first time in 28 years. It took just over a month to sell.
CBRE Wellington managing director Matthew St Amand, who sold the property with colleagues Bill Leckie and Rick Stace, said the property attracted a lot of interest, receiving more then $200m worth of offers.
The complex is home to 17 specialty shops and four office tenants, including Bank of New Zealand, Westpac, Flight Centre and Unichem Pharmacy.
Earthquake strengthening works have been completed, and the mall is now 100 per cent of the new building standard (NBS).